“Obviously we’re going to take a team that represents us very well, but we also have games here,” Girardi said. “These are split-squad games for us.”
The Yankees will have to play against the Orioles and Braves on top of the games in Panama. It’s pretty much a lock the Yankees will send Derek Jeter to Panama, seeing the game is being hosted in his best friends home town. if Girardi wants to put together a good team team, I’d suggest to bring the players who have played with Rivera in the past (Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, David Robertson, etc.) and leave the new guys in Florida to get their at-bats in. Although it seems ideal, Girardi hasn’t set his travel squad roster yet.
“The interesting thing is, you could try to make a roster now, but a lot of it could change,” Girardi said. “For us to do that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense wasting a lot of time doing that.”
Rivera may not be on the team anymore–but this will be the first Spring Training road trip he has taken in a long time. Rivera has been famously known to not go on road trips in the Spring (and has famously shown slight annoyance for the grey road pants that come along with it).
“I believe it will be the first game that Mo actually goes on the road with us in spring training, so I’m kind of looking forward to that,” Girardi said. “I’m actually excited to go. I’m excited to see the country. I’ve never been there. We have some special things planned on that Friday before we play, so I’m kind of excited about going there and being in Panama.”